Many Texas citizens know all too well the negative consequences that have resulted from the recent economic downturn. Families are experiencing record debt loads, loan interest rates are rising and wages are stagnant. One factor that many may not have considered is that the number of businesses being created in the country has seen a sharp decline. This can have far-reaching effects for many who would benefit from an increase in business formation.
A recent study showed that the rate of businesses being formed began to decline in 2007, which was around the time that the recession began as well. The researchers found that this decrease affected the amount of jobs that were created -- they think that, from that time through 2011, Americans missed out on almost two million jobs that could have been created if the rate of new businesses had remained the same. They weren’t certain whether this trend would continue, though they say the next few years will be crucial.
When developers seek to create new construction in an area, they likely see it as a win-win situation -- they will make a considerable amount of profit and the people who live in the area will benefit from the new development. However, residents do not always agree and may even file suit against a developer in the hopes of halting a construction project. Construction disputes can be a source of considerable cost to the developers and any investors. Recently, a lawsuit was filed here in Texas regarding plans to construct a large office tower, and this is the second suit this particular project has faced.
The property is described as a “boutique” office tower of 17 stories. The developer has created many buildings in the area and says this is only one of many of planned projects. This second suit has been filed by a local married couple who say that the office tower will decrease their property value. They also allege that the tower will drive up traffic, minimize available sunlight and inhibit their privacy.
When businesses enter into a partnership together, it is usually to their mutual benefit. Under normal circumstances, they create contracts to outline precisely what each entity will be responsible for, protecting one another’s interests. If one business violates the contract, the other may spend an excessive amount of time and money repairing the damage done by partnership disputes. Sometimes, businesses enter into an unofficial agreement with one another, and in the past, these were not normally legally binding. A recent case here in Texas has challenged that idea after a jury awarded damages to a business that had no official partnership with the other entity.
Energy Transfer Partners claimed that it generated an agreement with Enterprise Products Partners for both companies to work together to create an interstate pipeline. ETP claims that EPP backed out of the deal and opted to work with a competitor on a venture that would be more profitable. EPP countered that the business partnership was never official or declared in any legal capacity.
When companies enter into a partnership together to reach a common goal, all of them stand to benefit. Businesses use contracts to specifically outline the duties and responsibilities of everyone involved. If anyone fails to complete their piece of the project according to specification, it can result in financial loss and a consumption of time to correct the problem -- both precious assets to any business. One company here in Texas has accused several of its contractors of a breach of contract for poor workmanship and has filed a lawsuit against them.
GYB Investors hired several other companies to renovate a yacht club they owned. GYB had purchased the club after it was damaged in a hurricane a few years ago. The project took over a year to complete, and involved several different contractors. When everything was finished, GYB claims it found that the workmanship was inadequate. It alleged that the yacht club was unusable in the state it was in.
Disagreements between businesses are all-too-common, despite the financial pitfalls that it can bring. The time and money that a business must expend in pursuit of a resolution to business disputes can irreparably damage a company. When one company is involved in unfair practices, the potential exists for other similar businesses to be harmed by their actions. Two Texas companies have accused a third of this very problem and have filed a lawsuit in response to what they say is a breach of contract.
Acme Iron and Metal -- owned by the CEO of Texas Disposal systems -- has named Republic Services in a lawsuit related to its commercial dumpster services. The owner of Acme claims that Republic has overcharged its clients. This comes after Acme claims they were shut out of a bid for proposals of commercial trash collection by the city of San Angelo. Republic Services is in the stage of final negotiation with the city and is awaiting authorization from the city council.
When business owners have a disagreement, the fallout can be costly for everyone involved, in terms of actual financial hardship and the time spent in attempting to reach a resolution. Contracts are designed to protect all parties that do business together, and they typically require that everyone involved complete their responsibilities. A company may decide to pursue a business litigation lawsuit in the hopes of recouping their lost revenue or expenses if someone interferes with this contract. Here in Texas, a recent lawsuit was filed by one company that alleges that other groups caused the dissolution of a city contract.
A company called Partners Dewatering International had a contract with the Texas city of Rio Hondo for the treatment of liquid waste from restaurants and car washes. It claims that an environmental organization known as the Texas Campaign for the Environment, as well as Liquid Environmental Solutions of Texas, made inflammatory statements against PDI and plotted to damage the company. According to the lawsuit, PDI says that the two organizations worked together to denigrate it.
A construction company is entangled in a lawsuit filed by a business in Harris County. Hooker Development filed a lawsuit in a Texas courtroom against Cavalier Construction claiming breach of contract and fraud. The lawsuit states that Cavalier Construction did not pay its subcontractors even though Hooker Development paid for all of the work that was conducted.
Reportedly, Cavalier Construction agreed to be a contractor for Hooker Development for the construction project of a building. Cavalier Construction allegedly hired a third-party construction team, Corey Construction, to assist with the project by providing services and other materials for the building’s roof. Hooker Development claims it paid Cavalier Construction all of the monies owed and was under the impression that its subcontractors would be paid accordingly.
Three companies have been in the midst of legal disputes. Big-box retailers such as Macy’s, Martha Stewart and Texas-based J.C. Penney are in business litigation over the sale of Martha Stewart products. Macy’s allegedly had exclusive rights to the Martha Stewart brand.
As part of an agreement entered into back in 2006, Macy’s reportedly had exclusive rights to sell Martha Stewart Living bath and kitchen products. In 2011, a former CEO made an attempt to lift sales of Stewart’s products and was able to obtain 17 percent shares for $38.5 million. Macy’s filed a lawsuit against J.C. Penney, claiming that it obstructed the contract it had for Stewart’s products.
Litigation with an insurance company can be caused by a number of factors. These factors that lead up to insurance disputes can often stem from suspected fraud and breach of contract, and may ultimately require a policyholder to file a lawsuit in civil court to have the contract upheld. In one such case, a Texas woman is in a civil dispute with the GEICO auto insurance company following an accident that occurred.
According to reports, a woman was involved in a car accident back in December of last year. At the time of the crash, she was carrying auto insurance through GEICO. The woman claims that she suffered undisclosed injuries in the accident that she had with another party. Reportedly, after the woman filed a claim, the insurance company refused to compensate her according to the obligations outlined in the contract.
Violating a legally binding contract typically causes the other party to suffer from some form of financial challenges. Most commonly, the party who has been wronged faces loss of revenue and out-of-pocket expenses. Another common loss is when another party fails to pay for services and products even after being invoiced. A Texas business is faced with a breach of contract lawsuit for allegedly failing to remit payment to Grand LTD.
According to the lawsuit, Prime 8 Offshore and Grand LTD entered into an agreement involving the exchange of goods and services. In the agreement, the parties agreed that Prime 8 Offshore would purchase services and merchandise from Grand LTD. However, Prime 8 Offshore reportedly failed to make good on its promise to fulfill the account and has an outstanding balance of $118,925.80 due.